When people volunteer with ISM we require that they go through a two-day training in nonviolence strategies and philosophy, group decision making and cultural considerations for living and working in Palestine which helps prepare them for demonstrations and actions that ISM participates in against the ongoing Israeli occupation.
Important Announcement from ISM:
After the olive harvest (starting November 15th) ISM will stop offering new-member trainings for a period of time. Experienced ISM-ers will still be welcomed to come and join our Al Khalil team. If you are not an experienced ISM-er and are looking to come for the first time, there are two options for you in this paused period:
- Contact us to get on a waiting list, so that we can be in touch with you when we will be open to receive new members again.
- Contact us to see if there is an ISM support organization near you who would be able to train you prior to arriving in Palestine. If you get trained in by experienced ISM-ers prior to coming, you can also join our Al Khalil team upon arrival.
Thank you for your understanding, ISM-Palestine
Trainings are Wednesday and Thursday in Ramallah as long as the trainers are available. You should try to arrive on a Sunday or Monday before the training so that you can optimize your time here and not have to wait for the training. Arriving on Tuesday may not allow you enough time to get a good night’s sleep and adjust to the time difference before you start training.
When you get here contact our training coordinator who can tell you details for the training. Calling from inside the country, you can contact the training coordinator at: 059-530-7448.
From outside Palestine the number is: +972-59-530-7448.
In order to reach the training phone, we suggest that you buy a Palestinian sim card, which you can use during your stay. If you buy a sim-card in Jerusalem, make sure to ask for “Wataniye” or “Jawwal” (Palestinian sim card providers), and not to buy any of the Israeli sim cards, as from those you often can’t call Palestinian numbers.
You must go confirm by phone on Monday if you wish to take part in the training that week.
The training costs 100 shekels, which includes a place to stay for three nights and the training itself. This money helps to pay our rent, electricity and water expenses.
If you are a trainer of non-violent direct action at home and you will be coming to Palestine for a few months please let us know. We always need more trainers!!
ISM Training Committee
The training will include the following sections:
Hopes and Fears
We will discuss what are our hopes and fears of coming to Palestine are and with working with ISM. Throughout the training we will try to make sure that everyone’s fears are addressed.
Palestinian culture is very different from western cultures that many of the internationals come from. In this section we will talk about how internationals can respect the culture. We will discuss cultural considerations to keep in mind while living and working in Palestinian villages and cities.
We will use a spectrum to talk about what people believe are violent or non-violent actions and if these actions are effective or ineffective in context of the Palestinian resistance. We will discuss what the long-term effects of our actions are on Palestinians living in the regions we work in.
ISM Principles and Structure
We ask everyone who works with ISM to commit to our four principles: Palestinian led, non-violence, consensus decision-making, and anti-oppression. We will talk about what these four principles mean and also the structure of ISM in the core group, the ISM regions, the ISM working committees (legal, media, training, financial, problem solving, and campaign coordination), and with international volunteers.
Consensus Decision Making
ISM is committed to working with the consensus decision-making process. We will explain what consensus is and how to use it effectively, provide some facilitation techniques, talk about how people can self-facilitate in meetings, and we will role-play quick decision making at demonstrations.
Sexual Harassment and Assault
Sexual harassment and assault happens all over the world and can happen to anyone. Unfortunately we have heard about a lot of sexual harassment and assault specifically towards women in the West Bank recently. We have included this section to address how women can hopefully avoid sexual assault and harassment, what to do in case it happens, and how we can all help to stop this and support people that it has happened to.
We will provide updates on all the regions that ISM works in, so people can decide which region they would like to stay in while they work with ISM.
Responding to Violence
If you go to demonstrations you will most likely encounter weapons from the Israeli military such as tear gas, sound grenades, rubber bullets and much less frequently live ammunition. We will discuss how we can non-violently protect ourselves from these weapons, and also from violence we may encounter from settlers.
This section contains two parts. The first part will discuss writing press releases, eyewitness reports, journals, and letters-to-the-editors and how to use our language and words effectively. In the second part we will speak about giving interviews with friendly and unfriendly media, talking with sound bites, and we will role-play being interviewed by the media.
This section will cover the different types of Israeli law enforcing officials (military, police, border police, secret service) you may encounter and their authority, what you should do if you are arrested or detained, what legal options you have if you arrested, and about returning to Palestine in the future. There will be a role-play to learn what our rights are and how to use them effectively.
Looking after ourselves and each other
Coming to Palestine can be a traumatic experience for many people and can be very emotional for most. However, with the right kind of care for ourselves, we can aim to come out of this experience without trauma and with new inspiration. This section will include ways we can emotionally prepare ourselves before we come to Palestine, what we can do while we are here and when we go back home to take care of ourselves and others working in ISM. Self-care is an area many people in the activist community all over the world have begun to explore more in depth, aiming for many joyful and effective years ahead of us.